I know by our conversations and your Facebook photos that many of you have done a great deal of traveling in your life. It might have been because of your job, or your military commitment, or maybe it was a vacation, or visiting friends or family, or maybe even a mission trip. But whatever the occasion, you have traveled the world. You’ve seen beautiful sights and you’ve been to wonderful cities all over the world.

I don’t like to brag but I’ve also traveled to some great places in my life. I’ve been to some great cities like Rome, Athens, Paris, Versailles, London, Frankfurt and Berlin. I’ve been to Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. I’ve even traveled through Cuba. All of these places are wonderful cities and incredible to visit. 

Now I have a little explaining to do about my travels. I have been to Rome. Rome, Georgia that is. It’s northwest of Atlanta. It’s a beautiful city but it’s a long way from Italy. Growing up I visited my grandmother in Berlin almost every week. It is located about 20 minutes south of Moultrie. 

I’ve been to Athens three times over, the one in Georgia, the one in Alabama, and the one in Kentucky. Speaking of Kentucky, that is also home to London and Frankfort and Paris and Versailles though in the Blue Grass state it is pronounced ‘Fer-sales’. 

One of the great sights to see in Versailles is a real castle. It was actually a wedding present from a man to his new wife back in the 1960’s. Today it is a bed and breakfast. You can rent a room there for about $500 a night if you’re into the whole spend the night in a castle sort of thing.

I’ve driven through Cuba, Alabama. Now I really have been to New York City and Washington D.C., the originals not just duplicate. Otherwise, the most exotic place I’ve ever been is the Redneck Riviera. 

But of all the places I haven’t really been, Jerusalem is one of them. For centuries, Jerusalem has been the holy city for God’s people. Jews gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate God’s goodness, to remember his blessing, to ask forgiveness for their disobedience. Yet this wonderful place had a reputation of being unkind to those who challenged its citizens to a deeper obedience and love relationship with God. Jerusalem was known as a place where God’s servants were ignored and abused and even killed. 

Heather and I will be leaving next week for our adventure to the Holy Land. I can’t wait to see such places as Nazareth and Bethlehem. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like to walk along the Sea of Galilee. 

But I am most excited about seeing Jerusalem. I want to go to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane and retrace the steps of Jesus across the Kidron Valley to the Wailing Wall which is all that remains of the Jewish Temple from Jesus’ day. I want to walk the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha, that place where Jesus was crucified. I want to bow before the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. I want to go to Bethany where Jesus ascended into heaven. 

We have dreamed, and waited, and saved for years for this opportunity. I know it will be life altering. Soon, I will be able to add the real Jerusalem to the places I’ve been. Please keep us in your prayers.

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